Martin Dubravka reveals what Newcastle's players spoke about during the break against Arsenal

Martin Dubravka says Newcastle United down but far from out ahead of the club's visit to Selhurst Park.

Wednesday, 19th September 2018, 8:23 am
Updated Wednesday, 19th September 2018, 8:27 am
Martin Dubravka.

Rafa Benitez’s side have lost four of their five opening Premier League games to teams which finished in the top six last season.

And Newcastle, beaten 2-1 at home by Arsenal at the weekend, are second-bottom ahead of Saturday’s game against 12th-placed Crystal Palace.

Martin Dubravka.

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“We’re disappointed, as we’ve been so close to taking points, even against Arsenal we had the chance to take at least one,” said Dubravka.

“It’s still the same. We lost 2-1 against Chelsea, Manchester City and Arsenal.

“We knew that it would be a difficult game against a difficult opponent, but unfortunately we only have one point.”

After matching Arsenal for 45 minutes, United were undone by two second-half goals in the space of nine minutes at St James’s Park.

Ciaran Clark scored a late consolation goal for Newcastle, who are ahead of basement club Burnley on goal difference.

“The positive is that we have shown a great mentality,” said Dubravka.

“Even if we have conceded two goals, we have tried to play football.

“Probably the second half (against Arsenal) was not the best. We definitely know that, but the first half was good.”

Asked if the team was frustrated, the goalkeeper added: “I think so, because we could have taken points.

“Especially in the first half, it was good football from our side.

“We had a chance, but unfortunately we conceded two goals.”

Benitez had spoken about the importance of cutting out mistakes at the half-time break.

“It’s interesting, we talked about it a lot at half time,” said the 29-year-old. “We needed to be ready for the first 10 minutes (of the second half).

“We needed to keep going at the same level as in the first half, and unfortunately we conceded a goal in the first few minutes.”

Granit Xhaka opened the scoring with a free-kick, and Mesut Ozil netted what would turn out to be the winner after Alexandre Lacazette had a shot blocked.

Dubravka got close to both shots.

“It was a brilliant strike (from Granit Xhaka),” said the Slovakia international. “I was so close, I touched the ball a little bit, but it was a great strike.

“I was disappointed (with Ozil’s goal), as I was so close to saving it, but I couldn’t see anything,” said Dubravka.

“It was just a reflex. I was really close to saving it.

“I was just waiting for the ball, and then suddenly he was completely alone and had time to decide where he wanted to kick the ball, unfortunately for us.

“We tried to react and scored a goal, but unfortunately it wasn’t enough.”

Dubravka watched last season’s 1-1 draw at Selhurst Park from the bench, having joined the club earlier that week.